- Anwar to sue Berita Harian for ‘evil slander’
- [PRESS STATEMENT] Attacks On Buddhism’s Shrine In Bodh Gaya Are Despicable Acts Of Terror
- Press Statement of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami against the verdict of Professor Ghulam Azam
- Bangladesh awaits Azam verdict amid protests
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 10:07 PM PDT
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has declared in the Dewan Rakyat that he will sue Berita Harian for "evil slander" relating to the allegation that Pakatan Rakyat had 'received foreign funds' for its Black 505 protests.
His decision was prompted by BN parliamentarians continuing to cite the Malay daily’s report which had quoted former Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla on this.
“I have decided to sue Berita Harian for this evil slander. Despite the open explanation by Jusuf in the media, why is the Home Ministry taking months to explain the matter?” posed Anwar.
He had, during Question Time today, read out a text-message by Jusuf denying that he had ever made such a statement.
Anwar also told Deputy Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to come clean on the status of investigation into the matter, to clear the air once and for all.
Earlier, Reezal Merican Naina Merican (BN-Kepala Batas) had queried the Home Ministry on whether the authorities have investigated the claim that Anwar had received foreign funds.
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 08:39 PM PDT
16 JULY 2013
The recent attacks on Buddhism's holiest shrine in Bodh Gaya are despicable acts of terror and sacrilege which must be condemned by all. The culprits must be brought to account to face the full force of the law.
Whatever may be the reasons for these attacks, it is to be stressed that Islam forbids such acts of violence and enjoins all parties to resort to peaceful means to resolve differences.
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 07:07 PM PDT
Today the International Crimes Tribunal-1 has sentenced former Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Professor Ghulam Azam to 90 years imprisonment for commission of genocide and Crimes against Humanity in 1971. We are shocked by the judgment of the Tribunal. We believe that the judgment of the Tribunal is perverse. It would be difficult to find such a judgment in the entire history of criminal jurisprudence. We want to make it absolutely and abundantly clear that the Prosecution has failed to produce any evidence to establish the charges against Professor Ghulam Azam.
There are 6 allegations in the first charge against Professor Ghulam Azam – meeting General Tikka Khan, President Yahya Khan and Moulana Syed Abul Ala Moududi during 1971. However, the Prosecution has failed to produce any evidence of the contents of the discussions or any other details of the meeting. Merely meeting someone does not amount to commission of crimes against humanity or genocide. However, the Tribunal found Ghulam Azam guilty and sentenced him to 10 years. This is completely unacceptable.
The second charge against Professor Ghulam Azam comprises of three allegations relating to his alleged role in the formation of Central and local Peace Committees. Merely being involved with the formation of Peace Committees does not amount to commission of Crimes Against Humanity. To find Ghulam Azam guilty of Crimes against Humanity would require alteration in the definition of Crimes Against Humanity. We are shocked that the Tribunal has convicted Ghulam Azam for planning the commission of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to suffer 10 years imprisonment. This is a perverse finding by the Tribunal.
The third and fourth charges against Professor Ghulam Azam comprise of various speeches made by Professor Ghulam Azam in 1971. The Prosecution has not produced any evidence to establish these charges except news reports of such statements. The Investigating Officer of the case has clearly stated during cross examination that he has no information of commission of any offence by any person in 1971 upon hearing or reading any of the statements and speeches of Professor Ghulam Azam. It is clear from the deposition of the Investigating Officer that there is no nexus between Ghulam Azam and the commission of atrocities in 1971.
The Tribunal has also found Professor Ghulam Azam guilty of commission of murder of Siru Miah as crimes against humanity on the basis of a letter allegedly written by Ghulam Azam containing directions for the murder of Siru Miah. However, the Prosecution has failed to produce in evidence such letter allegedly written by Ghulam Azam. Nor has the Prosecution produced as witnesses before the Tribunal the person who allegedly carried the letter of Ghulam Azam to the perpetrator of the offence or the person who read the said letter. Even then, the Tribunal in its 'wisdom' decided to convict and sentence Professor Ghulam Azam to imprisonment for 30 years. In the 200 years history of criminal jurisprudence, there is no evidence of a judgment of conviction being passed on the basis of such flimsy evidence.
There is no doubt that Professor Ghulam Azam was a firm believer in the integrity of Pakistan. He worked for the sovereignty and integrity of united Pakistan. But the commission of genocide and crimes against humanity is not the same as supporting the integrity and sovereignty of united Pakistan. This is a fine distinction which many fail to understand.
We believe that no evidence has been brought on record to establish the charges of crimes against humanity and genocide against Professor Ghulam Azam. We will file an appeal before the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Tribunal.
The following is the link of the English website of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. Here the daily update regarding the situation of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami can be found:
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 07:01 PM PDT
Supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami party clash with police ahead of a court verdict against their spiritual leader.
Supporters of Bangladesh’s biggest Islamic Party clashed with police on Sunday ahead of a court verdict against their spiritual leader for allegedly masterminding atrocities during the 1971 liberation war.
Around 400 Jamaat-e-Islami supporters burnt a police van and hurled crude bombs in the capital Dhaka, according the police sources.
They are protesting what they say false charges against the spiritual leader of the party, Ghulam Azam, 90, who could face the death penalty if convicted by the war crimes court on Monday.
Previous sentences by the controversial court sparked the country’s worst political violence after the liberation war.
Azam was the head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party during the war in which the government says three million were killed, many by the militias he allegedly helped. Independent estimates put the death toll at between 300,000 and 500,000.
The International Crimes Tribunal, which was set up by the secular government in 2010, will deliver verdict against Azam on Monday, prosecutor Sultan Mahmud told to AFP.
Prosecutors have sought the death penalty for Azam, comparing him to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. They describe him as a “lighthouse” who guided all other war criminals and the “architect” of the militias which committed many of the 1971 atrocities.
Call for nationwide strike
Jamaat, the country’s largest Islamic party and a key member of the opposition, has called a nationwide strike on Monday to protest the verdict.
Azam is no longer politically active but is seen as Jamaat’s spiritual leader. He faces five broad charges of planning, conspiracy, incitement, complicity and murder and torture, alleging a total of 61 crimes.
Azam’s lawyer Tajul Islam said that the prosecution had completely failed to prove any of the charges, which were based on newspaper reports.
The verdict against Azam will be the fifth to be delivered by the ICT. Three Islamists have been sentenced to death and one given life imprisonment.
The verdicts triggered nationwide protests by Jamaat supporters, leading to mass violence in which 150 people were killed in clashes with police.
Eight more opposition politicians, six from Jamaat and two from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, are also on trial.
The opposition has criticised the cases as politically motivated and aimed at settling old scores rather than meting out justice.
The government maintains the trials are needed to heal the wounds of the 1971 war.
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